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As we discuss in our paper, the Southwest Poverty Reduction Project in China spent $580 million on a huge, similar five-year village-level package intervention, with no lasting impact on the incomes of low-income people. That is hardly an "academic" problem. Diverting vast amounts of aid money to a project, without carefully establishing that the project can meet its own stated goal of sparking "self-sustaining economic growth", has a direct effect on the lives of real people. Calling it "academic" does not change that fact.